THE risk of groundwater flooding is rising in parts of Hampshire.

The Environment Agency has issued alerts for several towns and villages across the county, saying that flooding is possible.

Groundwater flooding is when water rises up from the underlying chalk, rather than from rivers or streams. Cellars are most at risk.

Alerts are in place for Bramdean and Cheriton, Hambledon, Hursley, King’s Somborne and Little Somborne, the Meon Valley and Twyford and Hensting.

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The agency is warning that the Meon Valley villages at risk are East Meon, West Meon, Warnford, Exton, Corhampton, Meonstoke, Droxford and Soberton.

Hampshire Chronicle: Map of possible flood locations in the Meon ValleyMap of possible flood locations in the Meon Valley (Image: Environment Agency)On its website, it states: “In the Meon Valley, groundwater levels are high and continue to slowly fall after another week of mostly dry weather. The Winterbourne has been flowing in Meonstoke for most of December, and there may still be some residual water ponded around the electricity substation in Rectory Lane.

“From today (December 27) until Sunday, December 31, the weather is forecast to be unsettled with up to 35mm of rain forecast in that time. However, groundwater levels are expected to continue falling during that time. If very heavy rain affects the Meon Valley, groundwater levels will begin to rise again. Cellar flooding caused by groundwater remains a possibility this winter. Please remain prepared. If you use pumps to help reduce water levels, please check that they can operate effectively.”

In Hursley, groundwater levels are high and have risen by 30cm in the past four days. The Environment Agency says groundwater levels in the area are expected to peak before the New Year.

Hampshire Chronicle: Map of possible flooding in HursleyMap of possible flooding in Hursley (Image: Environment Agency)SEE ALSO: Overflowing blocked sewer in Hampshire town cleared

The website says: “From today (December 27), it is possible that most cellars in the village will begin to be impacted by groundwater. If heavy rain affects Hursley, then groundwater levels could continue to rise and cellar flooding will become deeper. We continue to monitor the forecast and groundwater levels. Please remove valuables from cellars, and if you have pumps to help reduce water levels, please ensure that they are operating.”

In Hambledon, water levels are high but are beginning to fall following a week of mostly dry weather. However, if heavy rain affects Hambledon, groundwater levels could rise again and more properties could be affected by cellar flooding in early January.

More information about the flood alerts, including what to do in the event of flooding, can be found on the Environment Agency website.